You don’t have to prove yourself to strangers

Being disabled means you get judged way before people even strike a conversation with you. The common stereotypes I get are: ⁃ aww isn’t she lovely ⁃ bless her it must be hard ⁃ Isn’t it nice she gets out ⁃ She must have a really hard life I found myself from an early age […]

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“I never know when to [offer to] help disabled people”

Gem Smiling holding a cup of tea

Put ya seatbelts on, because it’s the biggy. The one I always get asked in my talks and workshops *promo alert – I do this kind of thing in real life too if you’d like a session, here is more info*. I hear things like “I never want to be rude” or “I ask everyone […]

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Empowering Disabled People to be More Independent

Yesterday I had a social worker round to check about my care package etc, and it got me thinking about independence and how important it is for people to see it from the disabled person’s point of view. The meeting went great by the way (yay). Part of why I’m so independent myself is because […]

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“I like your hair, did your mum do it for you?”

Gem Turner sat in car

Ok, let me take you back to 10 years ago… 2009. The year I left high school, the year mum let me box dye my hair nearly black and I was probably texting from my velvet covered Nokia flip phone asking my friends “wuu2?”. I wasn’t as shy as I used to be at this […]

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UberAccess showed me how travelling should be | AD

Uber Access App

Hello, can I order a taxi please?  Phone Operator: Yes of course love, do you want it now?  Me: Yes please, I’m in a wheelchair so can I have an accessible one..?  Phone Operator: “We don’t do those, I’m afraid” “You’ll have to book at least 24 hrs in advance, and even then you’re pushing […]

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Staring: My Honest Experience and Advice

pink box saying "Staring: my honest experience and advice"

For World Mental Health Day, I’ve decided to tackle a topic that affects me pretty much every day and has a massive impact on my mental health. On a good day, I make an effort with my appearance, I zone it out, I smile or I choose to ignore it. On a bad day, I […]

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Planning City Trips as/for a Wheelchair User

Azuma Train Ramp Entrance

Travelling for a lot of disabled people is hard work. The planning has so many more steps, the mental energy is A LOT and you’re living on the edge not knowing if each step of the journey (no pun intended) is actually as accessible as you are promised. Now, I’m no travel blogger – but […]

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5 Common Reasons People “Don’t Need Disability Training” (And Why You Probably Do)

Working in disability (and being disabled) is a funny one. I feel a bit like a sales person sometimes. Trying to change people’s negative assumptions and show we are actually like, you know – just average people. Not all ‘suffering’ and not all ‘superhuman’. I absolutely love that invisible switch that happens when someone seems […]

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How to make meetings inclusive for wheelchair users

Gem smiling in business outfit

Previously I have posted top tips for wheelchair users about networking. Unless you’re in a familiar setting, meetings can be difficult (at times) for wheelchair users, whether that’s getting there, getting into the building, knowing where to go – never mind the actual meeting. It’s important to make your meeting space as accessible as possible […]

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Explaining Disability to Children

Explaining disability to children, Gem Turner

One of my most read blog posts is one where I talk about parents reacting towards me as a wheelchair user when they’re with their children. This is something that we don’t really talk about because you don’t really prepare for it – then it happens and we all carry on with our day. But […]

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